A fierce and uncontrollable fire has destroyed about 70 hectares of trees in Viphya plantation in Mzimba, burning timber and machines used to saw the plunks in the process.
Plantations Manager Meric Zangazanga told the media that the cause of the fire which has been destroying trees for a week now is yet to be established.
The fires come at a time when Malawi’s Sterling Timber International, a factory sawing timber in the once biggest man made forest, says it has started exporting value added timber to some African countries where it will be generating about K3 billion in a year.
The company is owned by eight cooperative unions plying their trade in the plantation.
Managing Director for the factory Paul Makolosi said the initiative is aimed at reducing economic hardships the country is going through by bringing in the much need forex.
“We have good timber from the plantation which if processed well as we are doing we can bring in a lot forex into the country,” Observed Mr. Makolosi.
He disclosed that the first truck of value added timber left the country on Saturday 13th October 2012 for Botwana where the demand for Malawi’s timber is very high.
South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique are some of the countries the company will be importing the timber